Honesty, as a facet of moral character, denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and includes the absence of lying and cheating. It is interesting that many Americans are of the opinion that all politicians are inherently dishonest, and in part it is the fault of the media who are increasingly reluctant to report the truth out of fear of retribution or loss of advertising dollars. Yesterday, in a rare display of honesty from a member of the press, the dishonesty and racism of Willard Romney was finally brought out in the open, and whether one likes him of hates him, Chris Matthews did what few members of the main stream media have done for the past ten years; he told the truth.
By now, most people who follow politics learned that Matthews assailed RNC chairman Reince Priebus for supporting Willard Romney’s race-baiting and dishonest Welfare to Work ad asserting President Obama hands out welfare checks to shore up support with his base. What was noteworthy about Matthew’s tirade is that for the past six months, Romney has used racially charged rhetoric and abject lies with impunity and there was little to no mention of it in the media. Over the past weekend, a New York Times article cited a change in Romney’s campaign to appeal to white voters by injecting volatile cultural themes into the race as if the tactic was a new development when the truth is that Romney’s racist lies are not a change or anything new.
Romney, like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, has used race to appeal to white voters throughout the Republican primary season and has never let up. When Romney gave a nod to birthers in Michigan, many people were shocked that he was openly embracing birtherism when he has, in fact, spent no small amount of time questioning President Obama’s Americanism by either accepting support from Donald Trump or claiming the President’s policies are “foreign to Americans.” Maybe the press is finally taking note of Romney’s racial insinuations because at this point in the campaign he has stopped trying to hide the extent to which he wants to portray President Obama as a president for nonwhites.
Up to now, Romney’s appeal to racists was couched in innuendo and inference, but in an interview over the weekend with USA Today, he defended the lying welfare ads by accusing Obama of offering waivers as a political calculation designed to “shore up his base.” Besides Willard’s welfare claim being an abject lie, he misses an important point that welfare recipients are predominately white. According to census figures, 61 percent of Americans who receive welfare are white while only 33 percent are African American, so if Romney’s claim was true, the President’s base is white and it may explain why Willard is desperate to win over white voters who do not trust he will look out for their interests; who can blame them?
Romney has promised to be a president for the wealthiest 1% of Americans and corporations, and openly touts his intention of slashing education, social programs, and government services taxpayers depend on, and that is probably why he is resorting to using racism to garner support. However, it is obvious that Willard’s real problem is that he lacks a record that appeals to any voters regardless their race or party affiliation. Willard cannot possibly run on his record while serving as head of Bain Capital, and it has prompted a world of lies about when his tenure as vulture capitalist actually came to an end. His campaign has been silent about his term as Massachusetts’ governor because he increased the state’s deficit and was pathetic at job creation while the rest of the country was moving forward. He has been reluctant to mention his stint as head of the Olympics in Salt Lake City because without the federal government’s infusion of $1.5 billion, the games would have been a failure. So what is left for Romney? Naked racism and attempts to portray the President as an alien who needs to “learn to be an American.”
What voters really understand about President Obama is that he works for all Americans and is the polar opposite of Willard Romney. This President epitomizes the American experience for 98% of the people who are not born into luxury and privilege, and actually had to struggle and persevere for the success he has achieved. In fact, if one wanted a picture of the fabled American Dream, they have to look no further than Barack Obama who achieved the nation’s highest office against all odds, and it must irk Romney to no end that despite his life of privilege and wealth, he has no accomplishments the American people can look at with respect. Frankly, there is nothing to respect about Willard Romney and everything to dislike whether it was avoiding the draft, outsourcing Americans’ jobs, hiding money in offshore accounts, shuttering American factories, or belonging to a cult that promotes lying as a virtue.
It was refreshing to see, finally, a member of the media calling out Romney for his penchant for lying and dog-whistle racism after he has been at it for over six straight months. Pundits claim that Romney’s primary focus at the GOP convention, and the rest of the campaign, is appealing to white voters and let’s face it; that is all he has going for him. He has alienated African Americans, Latinos, women, senior citizens, the middle class, and particularly the working poor with promises to slash spending on programs that help 98% of the people while giving massive tax cuts to his wealthy elite class. It is incumbent on the media to pick up where Chris Matthews and the New York Times left off and begin accurately portraying Romney as he really is; a rich bully who lies as a matter of course and is unafraid to invoke racial prejudices to win the highest office in the land. It is something Barack Obama accomplished honestly despite being born poor, African American, and willing to struggle to achieve the American Dream and he presents a stark contrast to the decidedly un-American, lying racist; Willard Romney.